10-year-old gives birth
What would you do if your daughter was a victim of statutory rape?
Just 10 years after being a baby herself, a 10-year-old girl has given birth in Mexico to a premature baby. The child is being referred to as a “young mother” in news reports, and her parenthood has prompted an investigation by the attorney general into the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy.

Key issues are that the minimum age of consent for pregnancy termination in Mexico is 12, and that child-mothers cannot ask for an abortion unless they can prove sexual assault.

Farewell to childhood

While other girls her age haven’t even swapped their Barbies for bras, the child will now face the responsibility of raising a child of her own. Her baby weighed 1.5 kilograms and the 10-year-old is breastfeeding her.

Statutory rape in South Africa:

The age of consent in South Africa is 16. Children under the age of 12 are considered by the law to be incapable of consenting, so a sexual act with a child under that age constitutes rape or sexual assault. Children between 12 and 16 are considered capable of consenting but not mature enough to consent, so a sexual act with such a child constitutes statutory rape or statutory sexual assault.

In SA, a girl/woman of any age may terminate a pregnancy, although second or third trimester abortions may only be carried out when certain factors are in place.

Someone who commits an alleged act of statutory rape may be arrested and charged even if the other party hasn’t pressed charges.

Parents, if you suspect your child under the age of 16 is sexually active, what should you do?

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